Thursday, December 29, 2016

True Love and Type 1 Diabetes

My wife, Anita, and I were married in 1964. I had been type 1 for 18 years at that time. I was testing my urine, using animal insulin, and did not know about the effect of carbs on my blood sugar. My control was dismal, with many highs during the day, and some terrible lows at night. I had seizures at night several times each year. My wife was only 20 when we married, and she had a very hard time adjusting to my diabetes, especially the seizures. She became an expert while helping me, and she never complained. In the mid 1980s I had my first meter, I learned about carbs, and I started carb counting with a fast acting insulin in the 1990s. My control improved. There were still frequent lows, but no seizures. In 2007 I started using an insulin pump, and presently I have a Dexcom CGM. My control is so much better, and I never need any help when I have lows, because they are not serious lows.
Anita remembers the old times when I needed her help so often. She was so frightened when I had seizures so long ago. She is still concerned that I may have very low blood sugar, even though my control has been so good for more than 20 years. She sets the alarm each night for 1, 4 and 7 AM. I check my BG to satisfy her that I am okay. She cannot sleep unless I am in good shape. She checks with me several times each day, especially before meals, to be sure that everything is good. (I do have some lows but they are not bad ones, and I can easily take care of myself.)
Anita's memories of how it used to be causes her to be this way. I cannot take trips by myself, even for a few hours in the afternoon, without her worrying so much about me. She wants to go with me on those occasions to keep a watch on me. Her being this way really gets on my nerves, but I rarely complain. She probably saved my life several times in the past, so I appreciate her attention, even though it is no longer necessary. I want to attend diabetes conferences, and make other trips without her going with me. She does not like to travel, she loves staying at home. She went with me to the Friends For Life conference in Orlando in 2015, and we are planning to attend the Unconference in October, 2017. I would like to attend more diabetes related meetings, and conferences, including the FFL's in Canada and the UK, but this will not happen. I love Anita so much, and cannot ask her to take all those trips. She loves me so much that she would insist on going with me. Love and a great marriage is wonderful, but I do want to travel more. I will just count my blessings, and take only an occasional trip. <Sigh>

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Ashamed Of Our Diabetes Management?

My wife and I are grieving over the loss of our son, but it is time for us to gather strength, and get our lives back on track. I am starting today with the following blog.
I was diagnosed in 1945, when I was 6. My doctors knew very little about diabetes. There were no T1 and T2 titles back then, there were no glucometers, and I did not know another person with diabetes. It was that way for 40 years until I bought my first meter in the mid 1980s, and then I learned that carbohydrates had something to do with diabetes. I joined an online support group called in 2006, and learned so much from other type 1 diabetics. They taught me so many things that none of my doctors had mentioned. I have tried to give back to the diabetes online community (DOC) by letting people with diabetes (PWDs) know that it is indeed possible to have long healthy lives with diabetes. For me, it is 71 years of type 1, without any serious complications.
I have been reading about people who shame us for having problems with our diabetes management. I have my ups and downs, and some minor complications, but my life goes on, without interruption. People who would shame us do not bother me, not at all. I ignore them, and go on with my life. I am pleased to know so many people in the DOC who have so much knowledge about diabetes, and who help each other in many ways. That makes us strong, and we will stay strong no mater what our critics may say!! :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Lilly Reduces Insulin Prices

This is definitely a good step taken by Lilly. Some people can save as much as 40% on insulin purchases. I hope the other insulin companies will do this, too.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Eva Saxl Diabetes Story

This is a very wonderful story from the Diabetes Health magazine. A man in China extracted insulin from animals to keep his type 1 wife and many other people alive. during war time. The lady gave lectures and helped others.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Diagnosed When Young, or Older?

Is it better to be diagnosed when very young, or later on in life? Experiencing a normal life for as long as possible seems desirable, but then being diagnosed at a later time would seem so devastating while attempting to change so many things, and give up a more comfortable life. Being diagnosed while very young means that a non diabetic life is very short, or almost nonexistent. It is easier for a very young person or child to accept since there is not so much of an established pre diagnosis routine to give up. It does seem cruel, however, for a young individual to have very little experience living without diabetes, before being diagnosed.
I was diagnosed in 1945, a few days after my 6'th birthday. I have only a few glimpses of my life before that time. The doctors back then gave no advice except to not eat sugar. My parents never gave me anything with sugar, and at that age that was ok. My mom made me desserts sweetened with saccharin, and I was pleased with that. Life was much the same as for a non diabetic. In 1988 I learned that carbs had a lot to do with good diabetes management, and in the mid 1990s I started counting carbs with basal and bolus control. That was much more difficult than my previous 45 years. I started eating very small portions of foods with fast acting carbs, and I missed the way I had previously eaten. I sacrificed the way I wanted to eat, to have much better control. My A1c dropped from the teens to the high 5's. Now I am T1D for 71 years, and I have no serious complications. I do not know why I didn't have terrible complications during my first 45 years when I had very high blood sugar. I feel that it was best for me to be diagnosed while young. There were so many young type 1 diabetics long ago who did not survive because the knowledge of how to survive was not so well known. Something protected me, and I am lucky to be alive and healthy now.
Being diagnosed in more modern times is very different. The devices I did not have, and the proper way of eating are now available, but there are so many restrictions that I did not experience. It is my feeling that in modern times a child has a harder time adjusting than I did. The diabetes management is much better, and the chance of having a longer and healthier life is much improved. The knowledge that now exists, however, is so thorough, and there is so much to learn, especially for a child. I had a short list, and adjustment was easier, but children today have a very long list and adjustment is not so easy.
So, what do YOU think about this? If a type 1 diagnosis is going to happen, is it best at a younger age, or much later in life?